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Sam Adams Summer Ale

I really struck out looking on the interwebs for a recipe. Lots of nutty looking extract recipes where the hops, lemon and grains of paradise levels are all over the map. Yesterday my wife and I were at my son’s basketball tournament and there was about 2 hours between games. It was about 82° so my wife suggested a place nearby where we could sit outside and have a couple beers. I think the first 2 rounds may have been the end of a keg (the beer was pretty clear) and the last one may have been a new keg (noticeably cloudier). But it was quite nice and I think I could duplicate it. One recipe I saw suggested WLP051 (which is like 1272, correct?). Anyone ever see a good recipe? Otherwise, I’d probably just use some Gambrinus Pale Ale malt, maybe some Dark Munich to get that color, a clean(ish) hop up front and maybe a little bit later, maybe the zest of one lemon and maybe a gram of the grains of paradise at flameout or something. I have no clue about the GOP including where to get them. No idea how much to use, what they contribute or if they need any prepping/crushing, etc. Cheers Beerheads.

Ps. After more research, I decided to just try to make something in the spirit of this beer. I have seen online references to grains of paradise being added to beer where one source says that 1/8th tsp for 5 gallons would be subtle, 1/4 tsp would be more “robust”. There is a recipe in North American Clonebrews (a book I trust very little) where it suggests 1/2 ounce of GOP added to the boil. That’s quite a difference. Anyway, please critique this recipe if you have any experience here…

[b]Mayfair Court Summer Ale

4.25 lbs Pilsner Malt
4.00 lbs Wheat Malt
1.25 lbs Munich Dark 10°L
8 ounces CaraPils
1 oz Hallertau pellets 4.6% for 60
¼ oz Hallertau pellets 4.2% for 20
Zest and juice of one lemon and 1/8th tsp crushed grains of paradise added at flameout and allowed to steep (lid on) for 15 mins
Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast

OG: 1.054, FG: 1.014, IBU: 22, SRM: 7, ABV: 5.2[/b]

Also, some recipes I saw called for White Labs 3944 Belgian Wit yeast but I did not taste that in this beer. I know it seems logical to use a yeast like that because of the zest and spice additions (as if it were a Belgian Witbier with orange and coriander) but the yeast profile seemed much more neutral to me. Mash at 152°, use all filtered water with some small additions of CaCl and CaSO4. I found the grains of paradise online (couldn’t find them at the grocery store). Thoughts?

I’ll break the ice. Never had SA’s Summer Ale. But a 6 is added to the grocery list.

It’s a nice beer. One thing about homebrewing is that you may taste a commercial beer and get inspired about making a beer that is similar but leaning more towards your tastebuds. The Grains of Paradise are supposed to be “peppery and ginger-like”. I do taste subtle levels of lemon zest in this beer but whatever flavor the GOP are adding is very subdued. I have everything I need to make the beer except the GOP. I’ll post back once I make it. Cheers.

I used 2 g. of gop in a brew once, it was too much. I plan on trying it again with only 1 g.

I don’t have a reference between grams and tsp so it’s hard to tell. But having a feel for the amount that would make up 1/8 tsp and 2 grams… that seems like a big difference. What was your impression of the grains of paradise? Was it peppery? Was it very easy to compare to something like pepper or was it different than that? To best honest, the spice/zest level in Sam Adams Summer Ale is pretty low and I might not mind bringing it just a smidge. Thanks gang.

As an idea coming from an unexperienced brewer but an experienced foodie with a culinary background, I’d leave out the lemon juice and increase zest, maybe adjusting with more at secondary. I’ve never seen, smelled or tasted GOP but if it gives off peppery/ginger, I’d might experiment with cracking some peppercorns and adding grated ginger. Both are very aromatic on their own. Maybe pink and green peppercorns? Just my .02

Here is where you can buy grains of paradise.

No juice? It was my idea to add the juice thinking that as long as I was botching up a perfectly good lemon by removing it’s zest, I might as well use the juice too. No? I will definitely follow that especially if you consider yourself an experienced foodie.

[quote=“Birdstop”]Here is where you can buy grains of paradise.

[/quote]
Thanks for that. I was able to find it online yesterday and it’s on its way, hopefully.

It just seems to me that the essence of the fruit is what you want. Lemon (citrus juice) in general bitters quickly in sauces requiring sugar to be added (to the sauces) to balance out that change. My input here is personal preference only. AND you told me that with any beer, the most important component is to taste beer first :slight_smile:

Well, yeah I did say something like The person drinking the beer should never forget that they’re drinking beer so that’s good advice. I was probably referring to beers that are so fruit- or spice-forward that you think you’re drinking a completely different drink. The recipe does say “lemon zest” so I’ll just use that. So how much lemon zest? Maybe one lemon zested and added at flameout and then the zest of one more lemon added at secondary or does that sound too zesty?

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The nose knows along with the tastebuds. I’d consider one at end of boil and check the aroma and flavor at secondary. This has peaked my interest. I might try something like this to an up coming hefe. Are you brewing this one soon?

I realized that I did not have enough wheat for this beer so I just ordered more and it will probably arrive later in the week. I made a beer (that will eventually be a raspberry ale) last week with 1056 and I was going to retire the yeast but thought I’d get one more batch out of it. So maybe on the weekend or early next week I’ll make this beer. Cheers.

I don’t have a reference between grams and tsp so it’s hard to tell. But having a feel for the amount that would make up 1/8 tsp and 2 grams… that seems like a big difference. What was your impression of the grains of paradise? Was it peppery? Was it very easy to compare to something like pepper or was it different than that? To best honest, the spice/zest level in Sam Adams Summer Ale is pretty low and I might not mind bringing it just a smidge. Thanks gang.[/quote]It was peppery; but, I also used Saaz, which is also spicy. It could have been the 2 in combo.

After a little research online (and also putting a ‘grain of paradise’ in my mouth and chewing it) I settled on 2 grams of crushed GOP added at flameout. These things have a really great flavor… lemony and peppery in a weird and good way. I’m going to add the zest and GOP at flameout and put the lid on for them to steep for 15 minutes. I watched an online video of Jim Koch talking about this beer and he also mentioned usign Noble hops which is good because I plan to use Hallertau. I’m making this beer over the weekend or early next week. Cheers Beerheads.

Be interested to read your final recipe. I personally am not a fan (I wish SA had kept the noble pils and went back to their original recipe for it as a spring ale and introduced their alpine spring as alpine summer and ditched the summer ale altogether, but thats just me) but some of my friends and family love the stuff. I have a big party to throw this summer, so that may be one to put on tap.

Be interested to read your final recipe. I personally am not a fan (I wish SA had kept the noble pils and went back to their original recipe for it as a spring ale and introduced their alpine spring as alpine summer and ditched the summer ale altogether, but thats just me) but some of my friends and family love the stuff. I have a big party to throw this summer, so that may be one to put on tap.[/quote]

I’ll be honest… I like the idea of it much more than the beer itself. That’s why I’m just trying to make a beer ‘in the spirit’ of this beer. It’s possible that the yeast for the commercial version is not as clean as I will use and I will probably clarify my version much more than the commercial version too. So what I’m trying to do is make a beer that I will call Mayfair Court Summer Ale which will (hopefully) be a nice, refreshing and unqiue beer that would be inspired by the commercial version. I’ll update this thread when I have something to share. Cheers.

Ken… Did you brew this up yet?

I’m just curious what others may be doing as I made an extract version of this on the 17th and just took a sample last night for a gravity reading and tasting. I haven’t had a SASA for quite some time so I am not sure how mine compares so far. I wasn’t shooting for an exact replication anyway.

I’m still a fairly new brewer so I’m not sure how much the taste is going to change with time, carbonation, etc. I’m not sure how to comment on taste right now. I did not seem to recognize the flavor of the Grains of Paradise. I’m thinking of throwing some more GOP and Lemon Zest into the fermentor and letting it go for another 2 weeks.

Anyway, the following is the recipe that I made up from others I found online. The WLP060 yeast is new for me. It’s a blend of ale and lager yeast and I think I like the profile that it is giving to this beer. It also attenuated very well as my OG was 1.060 and my gravity reading last night was at 1.012. This is giving me an ABV of 6.3% (little higher than I wanted) with an 80% attenuation.

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: SA Summer Ale Clone
Brewer: Brad
Style: American Wheat or Rye Beer
TYPE: Extract

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 2.50 gal
Post Boil Volume: 2.21 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal
Estimated OG: 1.052 SG
Actual OG: 1.060 SG
Estimated Color: 5.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25.5 IBUs
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 11.8 %
1 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 2 11.8 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.9 %
3 lbs Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 4 35.3 %
1.00 oz Tettnang [5.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 10.0 IBUs
3 lbs Wheat Dry Extract [Boil for 15 min](8.0 Dry Extract 6 35.3 %
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 -
1.00 oz Tettnang [5.20 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 8 4.9 IBUs
0.65 oz Lemon Zest (Boil 5.0 mins) Flavor 9 -
1.00 oz Hallertauer [7.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 2.7 IBUs
2.00 g Seeds of Paradise (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 11 -
1.0 pkg American Ale Yeast Blend (White Labs WLP060) 12 -

MASH Grains
1 gal strike water @ 153 F for 50 min
2 gal sparge water @ 165 F for 15 min

I made this beer today, 3/27. I tried to talk to everyone I could who had made something similar and get as much information off the interboobs as I possibly could. Again, the numbers seemed to be all over the place. Someone suggested using 2 ounces of the grains of paradise which is A LOT. Someone else said they used 2 grams which was a bit much but as we discussed it we found that the 2 grams was used in just 3.5 gallons of beer so I took that into consideration. Someone suggested using 2 ounces of lemon zest… again, a lot. Do you know how many lemons you would need to zest to get 2 ounces? I zested three lemons that I thought were good-sized, not giant by any stretch but not tiny either. I made sure not to get any of the bitter pith, just the zest. I got around .75 oz from the three lemons and decided to go with that and if I thought the beer needed more, I could add it to secondary. I also went with 1.8 grams of grains of paradise crushed and added with the lemon zest at flameout and allowed to steep for 15 minutes with the lid on. So the final recipe went like this:

[b]Mayfair Court Summer Ale

4.25 lbs Weyermann Pilsner Malt
4.00 lbs White Wheat
1.25 lbs Weyermann Dark Munich (10°L)
8 ounces Carapils
1 oz Hallertau pellets 4.6% for 60
¾ oz Hallertau pellets 4.2% for 20
Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast
1.8 grams crushed grains of paradise + zest of three lemons (about .75 ounces of zest) added at flameout and allowed to steep with the lid on for 15 mins

OG: 1.054, FG: 1.014, IBU: 25, SRM: 7, ABV: 5.2%[/b]

The garage ended up smelling like Lemon Pledge. I think the heat and the scrubbing effects of primary will “dull” the lemon a little bit and make it so that it’s not “fresh-tasting” like it would be if you squeezed a lemon into a freshly-tapped glass of the beer. I did not sample the wort to test the level of grains of paradise but as I look back at the three pints I recently drank of the commercial version, the flavors of lemon and GOP were not up front at all. With that in mind (and with the fear of making a lemon-pepper bomb), I dialed it down thinking that I would rather err on the side of “mildly spicy/citrusy blonde ale”. I will check it from primary to secondary and if I think it needs more of anything, I’ll update this thread. Cheers Beerheads.

Looking forward to reading more.

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